Saturday, December 29, 2012


My Inspiration
I woke up a few days ago dreaming of an outline of the first pages of the new book. I wanted to go back to sleep to keep it going, but of course it started to fade so I hurriedly started scribbling so that I wouldn’t forget. I read it over this morning. Complete rubbish. But...some was salvageable.

This has never happened to me before and I am trying to remember what I was doing before I went to sleep. Was it the overdose of chocolate or the shrimps and dip? Or maybe that extra helping of mashed potatoes with the horseradish and cream cheese that was heaven on earth. Couldn’t have been the wine or the eggnog with a sprinkling of nutmeg and a teaspoon of brandy but the vodka martini’s......Now if I try them one at a time I could eliminate and find the culprit to these nocturnal musings. Liz is not impressed. She says we will start afresh in the New Year minus all of the above. Such a spoil sport.

I have been at my desk most of the day catching up with emails and sending pictures of the family to friends. It’s a winter wonderland outside and very distracting for a writer. Hoards of birds came swooping in reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Birds’ movie but just as quickly left. It’s still snowing lightly and is a good night to stay home.

Santa, as usual, was very good to me but then I am usually a good girl even though I do enjoy vodka martinis. I have four books to read and not sure which one to start tonight.

I have Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Flight Behavior’. Barbara of the Poisonwood Bible fame. This is a favourite book so I am looking forward to this one.

I was given Hilary Mantel’s ‘Bring up the Bodies’.  Winner of the 2012 Man Booker prize. It is not my usual fare but I am all for an education. Tudor England, Anne Boleyn, and that rascal Thomas Cromwell. This is the second book in a trilogy so may start with the first. I’ll let you know if I become a fan.

Peter James latest book ‘Not Dead Yet’ is a police procedural and to quote his website, is the first book to knock 50 Shades Trilogy off the top of UK paperback best seller list!

Rebus is back. ‘Standing in Another Man’s Grave’. After a hiatus into retirement the Edinburgh CID’s most famous cop is back. Ian Rankin captures Edinburgh’s gritty side and for me it’s a trip down memory lane as we traverse the streets of the old and the new town. Not that I frequented the pubs that Rebus seems to spend his time in but I love hearing about my home town even through the eyes of fictitious characters.

Liz and I want to wish all our followers and friends on facebook a happy and prosperous New Year.
As they say in Scotland...Lang mae yer lum reek! (Long may you always have coal for your fire).

Slainte, ( meaning Health -a drinking toast)

Friday, December 21, 2012

What a Snore!

Hopefully no one’s surprised that we're still here despite the Mayan calendar prediction.  Although 2012 is certainly winding down as we come into the home stretch before Christmas and will soon be one for the history books.  A few snowflakes have been falling today, but it’s not looking hopeful for a truly white Christmas.

This past week I kept my scheduled appointment with the sleep clinic to determine if I have sleep apnea – any bets?  Arrived at the clinic just before 8:30 p.m. and was admitted by a very personable technician who would be on duty all night.  She showed me to my spartan accommodations for the next few hours; told me to change into my jammies and relax for about 40 minutes.  Glad I brought a good page turner with me – Kathy Reichs’ 206 Bones.  I'm a big fan of her books.

When the tech returned about an hour later, she rolled in a trolley full of electrical leads, and pre-measured dollops of goop.  She’d obviously done this procedure hundreds of times and like an airline steward informing passengers what to do in the event of an emergency, she made it sound very routine, but yet personal at the same time.  I think I was one of 6 participants that evening, although I only briefly saw a couple of other folks upon check-in and my ‘instructor’ was responsible for all of us.  It must have taken a good 15 minutes to apply all the electrodes atop my head, some beside my eyes and along my jaw.  A couple more on each leg just for fun.  Then two Velcro straps across my upper chest and abdomen.  An oxygen tube found its resting spot and was taped into place.  And last but not least, the oxygen/blood pressure monitor doo-dad was clipped onto my finger. Visions of a restful sleep were fast disappearing!

By now it’s about 10:00 p.m. and as I was instructed no nap during the day, I was pretty tired and longed to lie down and see about sleeping with all the paraphernalia attached.  Yes I could lie down now, but I was NOT to go to sleep just yet.   I was told once everyone was hooked up, there would be some testing via the camera and intercom to ensure we were all recording as expected.   That was a very long few minutes and I had to fight not to nod off.

Finally her voice!  Blink your eyes, move your legs this way and that, try to snore, etc.  When she was satisfied all her class were behaving, she finished up by saying – “You can now go to sleep and may sleep in any position you like (right!), but not on your head or at the other end of the bed.  Good night”

Wasn’t the most restful of sleeps and I had to make a washroom trip only once.  Very hard time falling back to sleep after that, but when the door opened and the lights flew on at 6:00 a.m. I was sound asleep.   Time to change my clothes and was very grateful to have heeded advice about bringing a ball cap!  My hair had gobs of what felt like toothpaste in several spots and stood up like demented porcupine quills.

So now I await results and will see if I’m in need of a CPAP machine – if it means an end to dreadful snoring and exhaustive fatigue, bring it on!

And now the gift wrapping is done and in a couple of hours I’ll gather with family for our early Christmas gathering. Wonder if anyone seriously didn’t do Christmas shopping thinking the Mayan’s had it right?

My thoughts turn to the families in Connecticut whose Christmas is now forever changed.  There are no words to describe the sadness that one feels during these horrible events, but with so many little ones lost it’s beyond understanding – my thoughts and prayers continue to be with that community.  Please hug your own little ones more closely this Christmas and enjoy your family and friends – no one knows what tomorrow will bring - truly life is precious and vulnerable at the same time.

Wishing everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas – and don’t forget – books make great gifts!



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